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Posts Tagged ‘Palmer cutoff’

Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, March 6, 2007

By Barbara Nilson

The original depot at Kanaskat built in 1912 and destroyed by fire in 1943. — From the Museum of History and Industry and loaned by Ruth Eckes.

The old railroad towns of Palmer and Kanaskat once thrived across the Green River from each other, Palmer on the north and Kanaskat on the south; eight miles southeast of Enumclaw. Somewhere along the line the two lost their identities. Apparently, the post office located in Palmer burned and the authorities moved it to Kanaskat but left the name of Palmer. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Daily Times, September 14, 1899

New steel rails from Lester to the mountains

M. Dempsey, superintendent of construction of this division of the Northern Pacific, in speaking of the physical condition of that road says:

“We have just completed putting in new steel rails from Lester to Palmer and from Easton to the foot of the mountain. We do not anticipate any more trouble in the tunnels. No. 1, just west of Easton will be permanently abandoned, and the work of construction brick arches within the other is being pushed. There are four tunnels which remain to be arched, and the work on all of them will be completed before winter sets in.”

Mr. Dempsey says that the Northern Pacific is being handicapped in construction work along its line on account of the scarcity of railroad laborers, and that some of the work now In hand has been practically suspended until laborers shall have returned from the hop fields.

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 17, 1891

J.C. Dillon crushed to death by a railroad train in a peculiar manner

Palmer, May 16 (Special) — While J.C. Dillon was at work on the track at Palmer station Friday morning the overland train came along unexpectedly.

He jumped out of the way and struck against a tripod which had been left close to the track with point toward it, so that there was only just room for cars to pass. He was crushed to death between the cars and tripod, the pulley block being jammed into his back.


Palmer was originally a telegraph station on the Northern Pacific Railway opened during the construction of the railway’s line across Stampede Pass circa 1886.

Between 1899 and 1900 the Northern Pacific built a cut-off from Palmer Junction (just east of Palmer), crossing the Green River to Kanaskat, and thence westward to Ravensdale, Covington, and finally Auburn.

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 7, 2015

By Bill Kombol

Railroads played a key role in the development of most King County towns, including Ravensdale. The arrival of the nation’s second transcontinental railway, the Northern Pacific (NP) in 1883 dramatically accelerated growth throughout the Washington Territory.

The development of a production-scale coal mine required a rail link to deliver the massive equipment needed to operate the mine and to transport the coal to market.

The extension of the Columbia and Puget Sound (C&PS) railway in 1884 from Renton by Henry Villard’s Oregon Improvement Company enabled the coal mines at Cedar Mountain (1884), Black Diamond (late 1884), Franklin (1885), and Danville (1896) to begin production. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 23, 1894

Engineers at work and narrow gauge to be widened very soon

A party of engineers under A.A. Booth is in the field revising the line for the extension of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad to a connection with the Northern Pacific near Palmer, which is known as the Palmer Cut-Off, and it is understood that, while no official information on the subject can be obtained, the construction of the road will soon begin and be very soon followed by the widening of the Columbia & Puget Sound to standard gauge.

It is understood that this step has been hastened by the traffic connection between the Northern Pacific and the Burlington, the latter road wishing to save mileage and time in running trains to and from Seattle, its chosen Pacific Coast terminus, by avoiding the roundabout trap by way of Meeker. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 9, 1900

Want ten cents per car more

Outside or common laborers asked for a raise from S2.25 to $2.50 a day—coal mine owners declare that the property will lie idle if they cannot find men willing to work for the old wages

As a result of the denial of their demand for an increase of wages 150 miners in the employ of the Seattle-San Francisco Railway & Navigation Company, at Leary, this county, went out on a strike Friday. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Sunday Times, August 27, 1961

By Lucile McDonald

Coal industry surges are an old thing to the town of Ravensdale. One such surge, in the late 1920s, brought reconstruction and modernization of the town, as shown above in a photo taken by Asahel Curtis.

Coal industry surges are an old thing to the town of Ravensdale. One such surge, in the late 1920s, brought reconstruction and modernization of the town, as shown above in a photo taken by Asahel Curtis.

“We’ve lived in coal revivals since 1915. We have spurts and then, they fall off,” observed John Markus, Sr., proprietor of Ravensdale’s principal place of business, a grocery on the Kent-Kangley Road.

The little community with the euphonious name in South King County’s coal belt is about to have another “spurt,” however. (more…)

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